Archive for category Author: Paul Apps
The style and layout of this series should be sufficiently familiar by now. It’s well tried and tested and new authors should have no trouble tailoring their work to fit in. Paul Apps, indeed, does not, offering a good variety of moving and still water subjects and plenty of different surrounding details such as trees, rocks, boats and structures.
The thing that did surprise me was the lack of any colour charts. I’m pretty sure I remember simple palette guides from earlier volumes and they’d certainly have been handy here. It’s there in the text, but you have to tease it out. The expanded details are merely enlarged sections of the final painting that appears on the right hand page of the single spread devoted to each demonstration. I think this is standard across the series but, as they’re no larger – and in some cases smaller – that than the full image, I’m really not sure how much they add to the sum of the whole.
I’m really sorry to come across as slightly lukewarm about this, especially as I actually rather like it. Paul Apps works in the oil style of acrylics and he has an instant appeal that will probably find you taking this to the till. “A painting and how I went about it” with an outline sketch you can trace down is an attractive formula that works for many people and I hope you’ll brush my reservations aside.
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We’ve already established that the Ready to Paint series is really rather excellent and is being handled well by its publisher, so it’s only necessary to decide whether the individual titles do it and themselves justice.
One of the problems with animal painting is that, all too often, the finished results have a stilted look. Animals have a dynamic quality, even at rest and the merest hint of a hard edge can destroy any sense of reality. Paul Apps manages to capture the doggy aspects of his subjects superbly: the softness, the gentle curves and, above all, the hang of the fur – which he does by a considerable amount of suggestion rather than heavy detail work, something which admirably suits a book aimed at the beginner end of the market.
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